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Statement on the Death of Dr. Doug Butzier PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Sam Lau   
Thursday, 16 October 2014 08:03
Des Moines, IA – Bruce Braley released the following statement following news of the death of U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Doug Butzier: 

“I’m shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden and tragic death of Doug Butzier. I have enormous respect for anyone who puts their name forward as a candidate for public office. Carolyn and I send our thoughts and prayers to Dr. Butzier’s wife and family during this difficult time.”

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Governor Quinn Joins 1871 to Open Major Expansion of Chicago’s Digital Startup Hub PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Dave Blanchette   
Thursday, 16 October 2014 07:59

25,000-Square-Foot Expansion Will Allow Tech Hub to Continue to Grow and Create Jobs

CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman to officially open a major expansion of the innovative digital startup hub. The $2.5 million expansion, funded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), will increase 1871's current size by 50 percent and create space for alumni companies, venture capital firms and several incubators, accelerators and programs. In total, the new space will allow 1871 to house approximately 400 companies within The Merchandise Mart. The announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.

“The growth of our technology and innovation sectors are helping to drive Illinois' comeback,” Governor Quinn said. “Since its inception, 1871 and its alumni companies have created more than 1,000 jobs, and this new space will allow the hub to expand and create more high-tech companies and good jobs right here in Illinois.” 

The expansion project allows 1871 to provide offices to alumni companies that have outgrown their current space but wish to continue to grow within the 1871 environment and utilize 1871’s programming and resources. In addition, the new space will house several venture capital firms seeking to engage the Chicago market. It also allows 1871 to develop a number of industry-specific incubators, accelerators and programs in the critical areas of food technology, real estate technology, education technology, financial technology, the Internet of Things, startup engineering, veteran-owned technology businesses and women-owned technology businesses.

"1871 is committed to continually raising the bar in terms of its opportunities for members and service to Chicago’s entrepreneurial and technology communities,” 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman said. “The primary goal of 1871 is to foster the innovative new technology businesses that are crucial drivers of Illinois’ job and economic growth, and we sincerely appreciate the Governor’s consistent support for this mission. This expansion is an important component of our ongoing efforts to provide an extensive set of resources and facilities to our member companies.”

Thus far, 1871 has announced the official launch of six new programs that will open or grow within the expansion space, including:

·         The Bunker: the nation’s first veterans-exclusive technology business accelerator, which will harness the leadership experiences of veterans as a strategic differentiator for startup and early stage veteran-owned, technology-enabled businesses.

·         LEAP Innovations: an incubator that seeks to foster the development of the best learning technologies by supporting startups that create these technology products and programs for key learning gaps and helping pilot these technologies in real-life learning environments.

·         The DeVry EdTech Incubator: an incubator designed to help startups develop new educational technologies to accelerate innovation in teaching and learning by offering mentorship, coaching and access to DeVry’s network of educational leaders.

·         The Elmspring Real Estate Incubator: an incubator supporting startups that leverage technology to create solutions for complex challenges throughout the real estate industry. Elmspring seeks to foster clever and innovative concepts that disrupt traditional models in real estate and its related industries. 1871’s real estate technology incubator space is sponsored by DTZ.

·         The Good Food Business Accelerator: a fellowship program focused on encouraging broad-based food entrepreneurship and leveraging technology in the food industry. Operated by FamilyFarmed.org, the GFBA will be the nation’s first business accelerator focused on building supply chains of sustainable local food.

·         WiSTEM: a program for women-owned and operated technology businesses. In addition to its complete access to the 1871 community and all of its resources, WiSTEM will offer a rigorous yet flexible program to foster and support women entrepreneurs.

1871 was launched in partnership with the state of Illinois on May 2, 2012. The original 50,000-square-foot space was constructed through a $2.3 million state investment. To date, 1871 has graduated over 40 companies, who have collectively created over 500 jobs and raised over $40 million in venture capital funding.

“The expansion is a tremendous opportunity for my company,” Learnmetrics CEO and Co-Founder Julian Miller said. “We were growing rapidly and looking at what the next phase of our company would look like, and we were starting to think we were going to have to trade off some of the benefits of being in a space like 1871, but then they announced the expansion. Being a part of that, you get to drive forward what this next phase is and help give feedback. Ultimately, we think it will be a tremendous partnership.”

The expansion comes after news in August that employers added 13,800 new jobs to the Illinois economy. During the last five years, Illinois has added 263,100 private sector jobs. These new positions have been created at small as well as large businesses in the state.

The Illinois unemployment rate hit a new six-year low in August when it fell to 6.7 percent, the lowest rate since before the Governor took office, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. This is the lowest rate since August 2008 and a continuation of an uninterrupted drop in the state jobless rate that began in late 2013. The number of people employed in Illinois remains above six million, continuing a 2014 trend that has seen more people working in this state than at any time since early 2009.

Since taking office and inheriting decades of mismanagement, the Governor has enacted worker’s compensation reform and unemployment insurance reform to make Illinois a better place to do business, in addition to major fiscal reforms such as pension reform and Medicaid restructuring that are restoring fiscal stability to Illinois. Governor Quinn is also pushing a new tax cut for businesses that provide job training. By lowering the cost to train workers, this will make it easier for businesses to create new jobs and ensure workers have the skills to drive a 21st century economy.

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Loebsack Representative to Hold Office Hours PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 14:25

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack will have a member of his staff in Clinton County for open office hours. Henry Marquard, Loebsack’s District Representative, will be at the following locations. Marquard will be on hand to work with individuals who are having difficulty with a government agency, have suggestions for Dave, or would just like to share their concerns. Members of the public are invited to attend. Marquard holds regular office hours throughout Eastern Iowa.

 

If residents are unable to attend but have a concern to share with the Congressman, please call our district office toll-free at 1-866-914-IOWA (4692).

 

Marquard’s schedule is as follows.

 

Tuesday, Oct. 14

 

Camanche City Hall

917 Third Street

9:00 – 10:00 AM

 

Clinton City Hall

611 South Third Street, 1st Floor

11:00 AM – NOON

 

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Obama’s ‘myRA’ Accounts This Fall May Alter Your Retirement Plans PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 09:00
Financial Expert Shares 3 Factors to Consider When Planning for an IRA

Important changes are coming this fall for what’s become one of the biggest concerns of the era: affording retirement.

Those who are saving for retirement and meticulously troubleshooting tax obstacles may want to restructure their plans. While members of Congress continue to battle over the budget, the Obama administration is preparing to roll out “myRA” savings accounts – IRA accounts – for those who do not currently have access to one.

When the “myRA” account reaches a certain amount, fledgling savers can roll it into a regular IRA account; different states will have their own guidelines. However, some of the benefits of existing savings options could be in peril, says financial advisor Jake Lowrey, president of Lowrey Financial Group, (www.lowreyfinancial.com).

Those include some of the tax advantages of retirement accounts currently enjoyed by higher-income workers. Some Roth IRA owners may also lose their exemption from required minimum distributions, or RMDs, while IRAs totaling less than six figures could see RMDs disappear.

“There will be many people who’ll be unhappy about the changes and that’s understandable, but some may help our country avoid an avalanche of retirees facing poverty,” Lowrey says.

In just 15 years – 2030 – the last of the baby boomers will have reached 65. That means one of every five Americans will be of retirement age, according to the Pew Research Center’s population projections.

“Most people simply don’t know how to plan for retirement, and that’s made even more challenging with the changing government policies,” says Lowrey.

He offers guidance on choosing between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA as a retirement savings vehicle.

•  Traditional IRAs and Deductibility: For either traditional or Roth IRAs, it’s all a matter of how one prefers to be taxed. Generally speaking, the money you deposit in a traditional IRA isn't taxed that year, and whatever earnings you have on your contributions won't be taxed until you withdraw that money as a retiree.  So, if you earn $40,000 in one year and put $3,000 of it in an IRA, your taxable income drops to $37,000. The deposit will grow tax-free through the years. If you withdraw any before age 59½, you’ll face a penalty. After that, you can withdraw and the money will be taxed as earned income.

•  Roth IRAs, Exemptions and No RMDs: Roth IRA contributions are never deductible. You pay taxes on the money when you earn it, just like any other income. The benefit of a Roth is that when the owners decide to withdraw from it after age 59½, they will not be faced with any taxes. In other words, the Roth offers tax-exempt rather than tax-deferred savings. Also, traditional IRA rules include required minimum distributions (RMDs). With a traditional IRA, you must begin to take RMDs by April 1 of the year following the year you reach age 70.5, but that isn’t the case with a Roth IRA.

•  The Best of Both Worlds? Naturally, IRA owners want to chart a path in which they’re penalized with taxes the least. It may be possible to cushion one’s retirement savings against future tax increases by converting some of an IRA to a Roth and earn tax-free gains going forward.

“Converting to a Roth will make sense for many people, and if you’re eligible to contribute to both types of IRAs, you may divide contributions between a Roth and traditional IRA,” Lowrey says. “But the total contributions to both must not surpass the limit for that tax year.”

About Jake Lowrey

Jake Lowrey is a financial consultant and president of Lowery Financial Group, (www.lowreyfinancial.com), an ethical and professional firm that guides clients to retirement success, including planning for long-term care needs. As a relationship-driven organization, Lowrey and his team educate clients about the newest, most progressive retirement and long-term care planning strategies to assure a brighter financial future.

 
Parents: Set the Rules Before They Hit the Road; Talk to your Teen Drivers About the “5 to Drive” PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Susan DeCourcy and Patrick Hoye   
Thursday, 09 October 2014 15:25

Learning to drive is very exciting for teens, and a driver’s license is a giant step toward independence. But when a teen driver is getting ready to hit the road, a parent’s job isn’t done. In fact, talking to your kids about the dangers of driving is one of the best things you can do to keep them safe. Tragically, many parents just assume their teens get this information elsewhere, so they don’t have the conversation. October 19-25 is Teen Driver Safety Week, and it’s a great time for parents to talk to their teen drivers about the risks they face.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens 14-18 in America. In 2012 alone, 2,055 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes, and 859 died.

Every parent should talk to their teens about the rules of safe driving, but a recent survey shows that only 25 percent of parents have done so. It can be difficult to talk to teens about anything, let alone a serious topic like safe driving. Many parents don’t know what to say, or give up if they feel like they’re not being heard. In order to provide parents with the tools, resources, and words they need to keep their teens safe, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has teamed up with state and local highway safety and law enforcement organizations on the teen driver safety campaign “5 to Drive”. The education and awareness campaign identifies the five most important rules all teen drivers need to follow.

We encourage you to get the facts, start talking to your teen about the “5 to Drive,” and Set the Rules Before They Hit the Road.

1. No Drinking and Driving. Compared with other age groups, teen drivers are at a greater risk of death in alcohol-related crashes, even though they’re too young to legally buy or possess alcohol. Nationally in 2012, 28 percent of the young drivers (15 to 20 years old) killed in crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher.

2. Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Front Seat and Back. In 2012, of all the young (15- to 20-year-old) passenger vehicle drivers killed in crashes, more than half (55%) of those killed were not wearing seat belts.

3. Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All. In 2012, among drivers 15 to 19 years old who were distracted in fatal crashes, nearly 1 in 5 were distracted by their phones. This age group had the highest percentage of drivers distracted by phone use.

4. Stop Speeding Before It Stops You. In 2012, speeding was a factor in almost half (48%) of the crashes that killed 15- to 20-year-old drivers. By comparison, 30 percent of all fatal crashes that year involved speeding.

5. No More Than One Passenger at a Time. Extra passengers for a teen driver can lead to disastrous results. Research shows that the risk of a fatal crash goes up in direct relation to the number of teens in a car. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behavior triples when traveling with multiple passengers.

Please talk to your kids—this week and every week—about how to be smart and safe behind the wheel.

For more information about Teen Driver Safety Week and the “5 to Drive” campaign visit www.safercar.gov/parents.

Susan DeCourcy is the Regional Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Region 7.

Patrick Hoye is the Bureau Chief, Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau.

 
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